15 photos - 8 species


There are 2 subfamilies, 5 genera and over 70 species.

They are very well camouflaged, sometimes burying themselves in the sand.

They have a deeply cleft mouth with many pointed teeth, including on the tongue.

Lizardfish make a quick burst of speed to pounce on their prey.

Depending on the species, they reach a size of between 12 and 50 cm.

Saurida elongata

Slender lizardfish

Maximum length: 25 cm

Depth: 10 - 100 m+

Their habitats are deep lagoons and sandy slopes,

where they like to burrow during the day.

Night hunters.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North Sulawesi

Saurida gracilis

Gracile lizardfish

Maximum length: 32 cm

Depth: 1 - 135 m

Has two dark spots on its back and very sharp teeth on the sides of its jaws.

Can take off in a flash when lying in wait.

Eats small fish, regularly changing places.

More likely to be found in murky lagoons on the sand.

Photo 1 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Saurida nebulosa

Clouded lizardfish

Maximum length: 20 cm

Depth: 1 - 15 m

Native to shallow, turbid waters.

Not easy to distinguish from other genera.

They are aptly named because of their lizard-like head.

The large mouth and tongue have many needle-like teeth.

Photo 1 Johnny: Elphinstone Egypt

Synodus dermatogenys

Sand lizardfish, Clearfin lizardfish or Variegated lizardfish

Maximum length: 23 cm

Depth :1 - 50 m

Near the coast on sandy areas.

Often buried in sand or rubble so that only nostrils and eyes are visible.

Photo 1 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Synodus intermedius

Common sand diver

Maximum length: 45 cm

Depth: 8 - 25 m

Its body has thin golden longitudinal stripes and reddish-brown transverse bands.

May fade or darken to blend in with the substrate.

Lies on the sand, or buries itself so that only the eyes are visible,

but also likes to lie on reef tops.

Not shy, as it relies very much on its camouflage,

it only swims away if you get too close.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean

Photos 3 - 4 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean

Synodus rubromarmoratus 

Redmarbled lizardfish

Maximum length: 12 cm

Depth: 9 - 50 m

Easily overlooked fish due to good camouflage.

Relatively pointed snout and clear banding.

Ot at the foot of drop-offs on rock and coral rubble.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Bangka Island North Sulawesi

Synodus variegatus

Variegated lizardfish

Maximum length: 28 cm

Depth: 3 - 50 m

The most common lizardfish in the reefs.

Usually colonizes outer reefs and lagoons in pairs.

It changes its position about every 4 minutes

and hunts for prey about every 30 minutes.

Photo 1 Johnny: El Qesir Egypt

Photos 2 - 3 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North Sulawesi

Trachinocephalus myops

Blunt-nose lizardfish

Maximum length: 30 cm

Depth: 0.5 - 200 m+

Found in groups on coastal sand flats down to great depths.

Usually buried in the sand up to their eyes.

When they are hunting, they can be seen in the open,

but afterwards they quickly burrow back into the sand.

Photo 1 Astrid: Lembeh Strait North Sulawesi